Articles

Make a Difference – Mentor a Teen

Erin McGrath was looking for a new volunteer opportunity when she happened to drive by the UMFS campus on Broad Street in Richmond. She had never mentored before, but she decided to try it. Two years later, she has mentored three different young people, and is looking forward to working with her fourth.

“I love it!” said Erin. “It’s so fun coming here, it’s hard to put it into words. They’re just amazing kids.” Mentors meet with the youth they are mentoring for four hours each month, typically visiting every other week. The primary goal of mentoring is building a relationship with the young person to provide support and role modeling.

Each person is unique, and so is each mentoring relationship. Erin enjoyed throwing footballs and playing board games with the boys she has mentored. The 12-year-old girl she worked with enjoyed baking, coloring, and craft projects. For their last meeting together, they made each other small jewelry boxes.

The activities are fun, but Erin’s favorite part of mentoring is just coming and being with the kids. She encourages others to mentor as well. “Just do it! It sounds scary, but it’s not at all. You just sit and listen and talk and just spend time with them.” Erin also appreciates the support of the UMFS staff. “I’ve been mind-blown at all they do. It’s incredible to see how much everyone cares.”

Join Erin and mentor a teen. Click here to sign up and learn more about UMFS mentoring opportunities in Richmond.